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'Heartbreak' over as Pinhey finally bags tour spot

Haydon Pinhey
Haydon Pinhey hopes he can establish himself on the World Snooker Tour [Haydon Pinhey]

Haydon Pinhey says he is feeling "pure relief" after ending a string of near-misses by finally claiming a place on the World Snooker Tour.

The Plymouth-based player ended a run of four successive final-round losses as he beat Gerard Greene 4-2 at Q-School last month to earn his tour card.

It means the 27-year-old will have two years on the professional tour and the chance to regularly face the biggest names in the sport.

"I lost four last rounds. It was heart-breaking, blood, sweat and tears, but it's worth it in the end," he told BBC South West.

"It's been tough, but the game is tough, so it was just pure relief in the end."

Promotion on to the tour means Pinhey is among the world's top 128 players and has the chance to qualify for all the major championships.

If he can get into the top 64 by 2026 he will keep his place on the tour - a feat he has dreamed about since he was seven years old.

But he says it has been hard, especially in the past four years where each time he has stumbled at the final hurdle in his bid for the big time.

"The third year I lost in a row was the biggest one, I was actually thinking that I couldn't take any more last-round losses," Pinhey added.

"I've got to be realistic, it is tough to stay on after two years, so who knows, I can just try and enjoy it.

"I think I'll be a dangerous draw. I've had a lot of pro events, so to try and stay on there for two years is the first aim, but it's tough."

But Pinhey knows he is capable of mixing it with the best - he beat Luca Brecel just four weeks before the Belgian won the 2023 World Championship and has had wins over other highly-ranked players too.

"Snooker's all about belief," he said. "We all can play, it's about believing you can beat the top guys and that was amazing."